Charles Barkley

Now streaming Race and Sports in America: Conversations

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Now streaming Race and Sports in America: Conversations

NBC Sports’ Damon Hack will be hosting “Race and Sports in America: Conversations,” a primetime special that is set to cover social injustice, conversations on race and how sports can combat inequality. 

Celebrity athletes from across the country will be featured in the special in a roundtable discussion. NBA analyst Charles Barkley, Warriors’ Stephen Curry and former Phillie Jimmy Rollins are just a few to name. 

Here are the essentials: 

When: Monday July 13 at 8 p.m. ET
Live stream: GOLF Channel, NBCSN, NBC Sports Regional Networks and Olympic Channel. Or stream here.

All participants of the panel competed in the American Century Championship — a 54-hole tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe — that took place over the weekend. There were 71 participants in total from the world of sports and entertainment. The tournament was played without spectators and under social distancing guidelines in accordance with government and health guidelines. 

Prize money and additional donations from the tournament will be donated to organizations supporting COVID-19 relief efforts, the Equal Justice Initiative, and Lake Tahoe regional non-profits. 

This special will also cover a many additional subjects, including:

• The relationship between athletes and law enforcement 
• Reaction to George Floyd’s death 
• Reflections on personal experience in the weeks since 
• Thoughts on what the conversations should be a year from now

“This crap started 400 years ago,” Barkely mentions in the special. “We can’t do anything about systematic racism. What I challenge every Black person, every White person to do: What can I do today going forward? 

“And you have to tell yourself, ‘I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.’ Because if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” 

Full list of additional athletes set to be featured in the special: 

• James Blake – 10-time ATP tennis champion
• Troy Mullins – World Long Drive competitor
• Anthony Lynn – Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach
• Jimmy Rollins – World Series champion Shortstop
• Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings Tight End
• Ozzie Smith – Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer

Sixers are a 'sleeper' in the Eastern Conference, Charles Barkley says

Sixers are a 'sleeper' in the Eastern Conference, Charles Barkley says

Charles Barkley’s opinion of the Sixers has fluctuated this season.

Back in September, he predicted the team would win the NBA title. By December, he was criticizing Joel Embiid’s effort level and said the Sixers “ain’t got no chance.”

If the NBA is successfully able to execute its plan to finish the season at Disney World, Barkley is back on board with the Sixers. He named the team as one of his two “sleepers,” along with the Portland Trail Blazers, in a video interview Wednesday with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Michael Barkann.

I’ll tell you what, the one team in the Eastern Conference that scares the hell out of me — I don’t want to see Ben (Simmons) and Joel (Embiid) and Tobias Harris,” he told Barkann. “I would not want to play the 76ers in the playoffs. … Other than Giannis (Antetokounmpo) — I want to make sure I don’t leave anybody out — the Sixers are going to have the best two players against any team in the Eastern Conference. With the exception of Giannis, any team they play in the Eastern Conference, they’re going to have the two best players on the court in every series — except against the Milwaukee Bucks. 

"So I think they’ve got a legitimate chance. I’d be surprised if they don’t do well. Ben has had a chance to get healthy. I hope Joel was able to stay in shape — that’s gonna be a biggie — but if those two guys are healthy, the Sixers have got a good chance.

Barkley’s claim that Simmons and Embiid will be the two top players in any Eastern Conference series not involving Antetokounmpo is a bold one, and certainly open to pushback. His point about the Sixers having two stars who’ve had the chance to rehab during the league’s hiatus is not controversial. Simmons had missed the team’s last eight games with a nerve impingement in his lower back, while Embiid’s 30-point, 14-rebound performance on March 11 was his first game back after being sidelined for nearly two weeks with a left shoulder sprain.

Barkley remains wary about the NBA’s plan to play in Orlando during the coronavirus pandemic. He’d said in May that he hoped the league wouldn’t “do something stupid just for money.”

“It’s scary to me,” he told Barkann. “When we’re doing this interview, Florida’s like the hottest spot for the virus in the world. You’re taking 22 teams, a bunch of people. I know the WNBA is going down to Florida. I know MLS is going down to Florida. It’s a scary situation. I hope nobody gets sick, nobody dies.”

In the event that the league plows ahead despite those concerns, Barkley thinks a key factor will be how teams adapt to playing without any fans in attendance. The Sixers were, of course, an NBA-best 29-2 in front of their home crowd at Wells Fargo Center, compared to 10-24 on the road. 

“I think that’s really huge,” Barkley said. “This is when your leaders are going to really have to step up. I think there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on Ben and Joel because they’re going to have to make the rest of the guys play without crowd noise. They’ve just gotta tell guys, ‘We’re gonna play.’

"This is when you’re going to find out who your leaders are. Because your leaders are going to have to make you play hard every day. … It would really suck to play without fans. With this virus and no fans, this is going to be the most interesting playoffs ever.”

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The 10 best Sixers without an NBA title

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The 10 best Sixers without an NBA title

When a franchise hasn’t won a championship in 37 years, it’s going to have some great players who haven’t won titles.

This list ranks the best 10, considering both overall career and performance/impact as a Sixer, with more weight given to the latter. It only looks at players who have never won an NBA championship with any team, meaning names like Andre Iguodala are not included. 

10. Steve Mix 
​​​​​​“The Mayor” was a key piece for some very good Sixers teams throughout the mid-70s and early-80s. He played 668 games with the team over nine seasons, winning three Eastern Conference titles and being named an All-Star in the 1974-75 season. Though he wasn’t a huge scorer, Mix chipped in across the board and was consistently an above average, winning player. 

9. Jimmy Butler 
Butler appears on this ranking mostly because of his accomplishments outside of Philadelphia. Over the last six seasons, he’s averaged 21.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.8 steals. It didn’t work out here, but denying Butler is one of the best players to pass through Philadelphia would be foolish. At 30 years old, the five-team All-Star is searching for his first championship with the Heat. 

8. Ben Simmons
Simmons, a two-time All-Star and Rookie of the Year winner, is easily the youngest player on our list. To be clear, we’re not saying he’s already had a better career than Butler, but that he deserves this spot because of his early impact as a Sixer. It would be a major snub if Simmons does not appear on an All-Defensive Team this season, and he should be in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. 

7. Joel Embiid 
Because of his many injury woes, Embiid has actually played in 12 fewer regular-season games than Simmons. While Embiid isn’t happy with how he’s played this year or what he’s accomplished so far, he’s on a Hall of Fame trajectory, health permitting. He’ll hope to no longer be eligible for this particular list when his career is over. 

6. Archie Clark 
Well before it was the norm, Clark was hitting defenders with shifty crossovers and Euro steps, earning the nickname “Shake and Bake.” A ball handling pioneer, Clark played three full seasons in Philadelphia after being included in the trade that sent Wilt Chamberlain to the Lakers, averaging 18.2 points and 4.7 assists. If you haven’t seen them before, his highlights are worth watching.

5. Doug Collins 
Collins’ career was shortened by injuries, but at his peak he appeared in four straight All-Star Games and posted about 20 points per contest. A tangential note: He should be an Olympic hero and gold medalist. 

4. Dikembe Mutombo 
In his 10th NBA season, Mutombo won his first conference title in 2001 as a Sixer. While he only spent a season and a half here, Mutombo is one of the best defensive centers ever, with eight All-Star appearances, four Defensive Player of the Year awards and that iconic finger wag. He’s also an internationally renowned humanitarian

3. George McGinnis 
A two-time ABA champion with the Pacers, McGinnis came close to a title in his second season with the Sixers, who fell to the Trail Blazers in Game 6 of the 1977 Finals despite 40 points from Julius Erving and a 28-point, 16-rebound effort from McGinnis. He averaged 21.6 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists in three seasons here before being traded to Denver. 

2. Allen Iverson
Given how beloved Iverson is with a single NBA Finals victory on his résumé, just imagine the level of adulation if he’d won a series. As a Sixer, Iverson led the league in minutes per game five times, scoring four times and steals three times. He’s a legend, even without a title. 

1. Charles Barkley 
Regardless of team, Barkley should be one of the first names that comes to mind when thinking about the best NBA players to never win a championship. During a nine-season peak from 1988 to 1996, he scored 24.9 points, grabbed 11.5 rebounds and dished 4.1 assists per game. 

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